(Posted Tue. Jul 16th, 2013)
July 16: Action teams and committees charged with in-depth analysis and consideration of the topics most relevant to corn farmers met in Washington as the initial phase of a full week of meetings held by the National Corn Growers Association. These farmer-led teams discussed changing situations, and the possible ramifications of these changes, in areas including public policy, ethanol, biotechnology, government regulation, trade and grower services in anticipation of NCGA Corn Congress and visits to Capitol Hill scheduled later this week.
“NCGA’s action teams develop policies with a careful analysis of each situation while maintaining the grassroots approach vital to the association’s success,” said NCGA President Pam Johnson. “These small groups bring together grower-leaders from our various member states to develop a deep knowledge of specialized areas and collaborate on solutions that help NCGA create and increase opportunities and markets for our members.”
Many of the team meetings included presentations from special guests. In the Ethanol Committee meeting, staff from a member who sits on the House Energy and Commerce Committee provided a valuable update on the legislative issues facing the ethanol industry. Her valuable insight helped team members understand the multifaceted situations legislators must take into consideration given the current legislative environment.
Chad Willis, chair of the Ethanol Committee, said the committee agenda is constructed with those legislative visits in mind.
“We want to prepare our grower leaders fully for the important visits they will make with their legislators on Wednesday and Thursday,” he said. “Right now, Congress faces rapidly evolving issues crucial to our members, particularly the farm bill and the RFS. The information and understanding coming out of these meetings will help each of our delegations make the strongest case possible for farmers.”
In the Public Policy Action Team, members discussed the ongoing situation as farm bill discussions on the Hill evolve. To best assess the current situations facing corn farmers in Washington, they heard from a wide variety of guest speakers, including a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee’s staff.
Action team and committee meetings conclude today, with Corn Congress convening early on Wednesday and running through Thursday. During this meeting, delegates will consider proposed policy changes and will elect leadership to the Corn Board for the 2014 fiscal year beginning October 1.